Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Most Annoying Thing About a Disk Crash? iTunes

My laptop hard drive went up and died on me last week. Surprisingly I took it with equanimity, but only because:
  1. The laptop was only about 12 weeks old, so I didn't have too much new stuff on it yet. Most of the files on there were transferred in December from my old laptop, which I still have.
  2. I had SOME of my newer files backed up on a company network
  3. All of my email - which is 70% of my work - is kept on a server, so my loss there was zero. And I recovered a lot of files from email attachments.
So my total loss of work since December was probably only ~15%. Not too bad. The good thing was that the drive failed early ("infant mortality"). If the drive had gone on for a year or more and then failed the damage could have been a lot worse.

That's not to say that this wasn't painless. The most annoying things were, in reverse order:

3. Pictures - I had some pictures I had taken over the last couple of months that didn't get backed up. Gone forever.

2. Financial Files - Microsoft Money lost about two months of transactions. I keep paper copies of everything, so this required just sitting down and inputting it again. A pain in the ass, but maybe it will make me remember to back up more often.

1. iTunes - Hands down the worse. I think everyone knows that Apple makes it nearly impossible to download from the iPod to the hard drive, so the first thing I did was copy my old library from my old laptop, which got 99% of my music. When I did this, Apple was good enough to remind me that I had to "reauthorize" my "new computer" (it's just a new drive, Steve), and that the tunes I bought on my old computer have now been used three times (my old laptop, my failed drive, and now my new drive). Only two more computers to go for those songs.

Then there is the music that I bought since January. It's sitting on my iPod, but I can't get it into my computer unless I dig deep into the iPod files (doable, but a pain), buy software to do it for me (At $20-$30, a lot more expensive than the music I bought), or buy the few songs again (only a few bucks, but we are talking about the principle here).

Whatever I decide, I can only say that I am really happy I downloaded like mad during the closing weeks of Napster.

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